Human rights

Human rights

24 September 2020
SG/SM/20276

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video statement for the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the responsibility to protect, today:

24 September 2020

We are devastated by the sudden passing of our long-time friend and colleague Reynaldo Naval of the Media Documents Centre.  Rey proudly served the United Nations for 39 years, and we always appreciated his kindness, sunny disposition, dedication and pride in belonging to the Organization.

17 September 2020

The Secretary-General expressed concern over the number of restrictions and attacks against journalists, as many face harassment, intimidation, killing and arbitrary detention.  He called on Governments to immediately release journalists detained while exercising their profession, stressing:  “No democracy can function without press freedom.”

14 September 2020

In Sudan, nearly 720,000 people have been affected by floods, with more than 100 deaths reported, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  While the United Nations and its partners have reached 200,000 with health, food and other assistance, the $1.6 billion Humanitarian Response Plan is less than half funded.

11 September 2020

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are helping the Government of Cambodia with distance learning programmes for the more than 3 million students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

27 August 2020

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has put two reports online, one detailing violations in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, and the other warning that accountability for violations committed in the context of demonstrations remains elusive, despite promising steps by the Government of Iraq.

20 August 2020
SG/SM/20214

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, observed on 22 August:

14 August 2020

Following explosions in Beirut on 4 August, the United Nations is requesting $565 million to help Lebanon move towards recovery and reconstruction.  Peacekeepers with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are also donating blood and have joined the “#UN4Beirut” initiative to clean up devastated city streets.

11 August 2020

Polio immunization campaigns have resumed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, months after COVID-19 left 50 million children without their polio vaccines, UNICEF said today.  There is concern that up to 1 million children in Afghanistan could miss out as door-to-door vaccinations are not possible in some areas.

7 August 2020

In Somalia, more than 150,000 people have fled their homes since late June — including 230,000 in the last week alone — due to flooding in the south.  Some 650,000 people across the country having been displaced by heavy rains since January, with many now living in overcrowded, makeshift shelters.  Food is in short supply and many are going hungry.

3 August 2020
SG/SM/20194

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, observed on 9 August:

3 August 2020

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called on Guatemalan authorities to fully investigate the violent death of a transgender woman found dead at her home on Saturday in Guatemala City.  She had sought asylum in Guatemala after fleeing violence in El Salvador due to her gender identity.

30 July 2020

In Zimbabwe, where 60 per cent of the population is projected to be food insecure by the end of 2020, the World Food Programme appealed for $250 million to prevent a human catastrophe.  A nationwide COVID-19 lockdown has led to joblessness in urban areas, growing hunger in rural areas and hyperinflation that has made basic goods unaffordable.

23 July 2020

The World Health Organization warned today of the threat that COVID-19 poses to health workers across Africa, with more than 10,000 in 40 countries having been infected with the virus so far.  The warning comes as COVID-19 cases in Africa appear to be gathering pace, with more than 750,000 cases and over 15,000 deaths.

20 July 2020
SG/SM/20180

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, observed on 30 July:

17 July 2020
SC/14257

Sexual violence is used as a war tactic and a political tool to dehumanize, destabilize and forcibly displace populations across the globe, the United Nations expert on the issue told the Security Council in a 17 July videoconference meeting, pressing countries to adopt a survivor-centred approach that ensures victims will not be forgotten.

13 July 2020
DSG/SM/1431

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed’s keynote remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the High-Level Political Forum side event on Sustainable Finance’s Role in Reducing Modern Slavery:  COVID-19’s Lessons on Protecting the Most Vulnerable, in New York today:

9 July 2020
SG/SM/20169

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, commemorated on 11 July:

7 July 2020

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that it is providing tents, water, tanks and toilets to the more than 3,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo that arrived in north-western Uganda last week during a temporary opening of two border crossing points.

7 July 2020
SC/14242

Addressing rights violations as warning signs of conflict is even more urgent in the COVID-19 era, the United Nations senior human rights official told the Security Council in a 7 July videoconference meeting, as she spotlighted the role peacekeepers can play in monitoring virus-related stigma, hate speech and the impact of containment measures on vulnerable groups.